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The island nation of Tonga was hit by tsunami waves following a massive underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean.

The eruption happened just 65 kilometres from the capital, Nuku’alofa.

The BBC reports that tsunami warnings across the region sent residents scrambling to higher ground. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, and eventually as far away as the United States.

Videos of the tsunami hitting the country have been doing the rounds on social media with one video showing traffic jams as people tried to get out of low-lying areas in their cars.

A resident, Mere Taufa, told The BBC that the eruption hit as her family was preparing for dinner, and her younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby.

“My first instinct was to take cover under the table, I grabbed my little sister, and screamed at my parents and others in the house to do the same.”

The full extent of the damage and the number of deaths or injuries haven’t been established yet.

Image credit: The Indian Express

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